Brannan blasts R train delays at 59 St. station
Council candidate says riders face 45-minute wait
Passengers flying from New York City to Washington, D.C. can expect the flight to last for 48 minutes. It can take nearly as long for a Bay Ridge-bound R train to arrive at the 59th Street subway station on many nights, according to transportation advocates.
The sorry state of subway service has become a hot button issue that one City Council candidate is bringing to light on the campaign trail in Bay Ridge.
Democrat Justin Brannan is railing against the MTA over what he said are chronic and excessive delays at 59th Street.
“We live about seven miles from Manhattan and yet people who live in different states get to work faster than we do. It is absolutely absurd and we’re tired of basically being told to just deal with it. We are done being ignored by the MTA,” Brannan said.
Brannan, who is the deputy chief of staff to Councilmember Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) and is running to succeed Gentile in the Council, is calling on the MTA to investigate frequent train delays for commuters waiting to transfer from express N trains to local R trains at the 59th Street stop.
“It’s already hard enough for hard-working Bay Ridge families to move around this city. Between the long commutes and fare hikes, we are simply not getting the service we need. I’m all for new and improved subway stations but having to wait 45 minutes at 59th Street to catch an R train at night is insulting,” Brannan said in a statement.
Brannan’s challenge to the MTA comes as straphangers are bracing for upcoming service disruptions.
Three Brooklyn stations along the R line: Prospect Avenue, 53rd Street and Bay Ridge Avenue, will be undergoing major repairs as part the MTA’s Enhanced Station Initiative, a project Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in November.
As part of an effort to fast track the work, the stations will be closed for six months.
Brannan is one of several candidates running for the seat in the 43rd Council District. Gentile, who has represented the district since 2003, is prevented by New York City’s term-limit law from running for another term.
In addition to Brannan, the crowded field of candidates who have officially announced they are running for the seat includes Democrats Kevin Peter Carroll, Rev. Khader El-Yateem and Nancy Tong. The Republican candidates are Bob Capano, Liam McCabe and John Quaglione.
The MTA did not respond to a request for comment on the R train service delays.